Every week, it seems a new video emerges showing the police blatantly disregarding the pleas of people in their custody. In Oklahoma City, body camera footage has been released from a May 2019 incident where 42-year-old Derrick Scott can be seen telling police “I can’t breathe,” as he’s being held in police custody.
According to NBC News, Jarred Tipton, one of the officers, can be heard saying “I don’t care,” in response to Scott’s plea. Another officer tells Scott that he can “breathe just fine.” After several minutes, Scott appears unresponsive in the footage. Scott was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
NBC News obtained Scott’s autopsy, which labeled a collapsed lung as the cause of his death. The autopsy said that the police response didn’t result in “fatal trauma” and instead listed physical restraint, methamphetamine use, asthma, emphysema and heart disease as the leading factors in Scott’s death. The autopsy also said that the manner of Scott’s death was “undetermined.”
From NBC News:
The incident began after officers were called to an area south of downtown Oklahoma City shortly before 2 p.m. after someone reported that a black man was arguing with people and brandishing a gun, Oklahoma City police Capt. Larry Withrow said in a statement.
The footage shows Scott running from officers after Tipton asks if he has any weapons. After the police tackle and restrain him, one of the officers can be seen removing a handgun from Scott’s pocket.
Later, an officer tries to administer CPR before paramedics arrive.
Oklahoma City police Capt. Larry Withrow argued that Tipton’s comments were made in the “heat of a conflict.”
“Certainly that may be something an officer says. Just understand—the officers are fighting with someone at that point.” Withrow told KFOR.
An investigation conducted by the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office cleared Tipton, Ashley Copeland and Sgt. Jennifer Titus of misconduct. The body camera footage was released after Black Lives Matter OKC sent a list of demands to city leaders in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
Members of the organization expressed dismay at what was seen on the video. “If that is policy and there is a lack of focus on humanity and civility to anyone, then they certainly need to be addressing and changing that policy effective immediately,” Rev. T. Sheri Dickerson, a leader of Black Lives Matter OKC told KFOR.